April 28 (Reuters) - Getafe missed a chance to strike a huge blow in their bid to qualify for the Champions League, losing 2-1 at Real Sociedad on Sunday after having two penalty appeals turned down as their two biggest rivals for fourth spot also suffered surprise defeats.
Getafe are still clinging on to fourth place in the standings on 55 points after 35 games, leading fifth-placed Sevilla — who were beaten 1-0 at Girona and are also on 55 — due to their superior head-to-head record.
Valencia meanwhile are sixth on 52 points after being beaten 1-0 at home by Eibar and still have an outside chance of grabbing the coveted fourth spot.
Real Sociedad took the lead midway through the first half when Willian Jose converted from the penalty spot although the Madrid side had a penalty appeal turned down later in the half when the same player collided with Hugo Duro.
The Basque side doubled their advantage early in the second half when Mikel Oyarzabal beat his marker to turn in a cross from Willian Jose to complete a quick counterattack after Getafe had made a bright start to the second period.
The visitors were left incensed when a second penalty appeal was waved away without a VAR review when striker Jaime Mata appeared to be tripped by Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.
Getafe coach Jose Bordalas was sent off for protesting that decision but visiting substitute Samu Saiz managed to pull a goal back in the 89th minute to set up an exciting finish, although Real Sociedad looked more likely to score again. (Reporting by Richard Martin Editing by Toby Davis)